The New Canaan Demons had a tremendous showing in the Cooperstown Dreams Park Tournament this past week. The week-long tournament consisted of 104 teams from throughout the United States and Canada. Each team played six preliminary round games. The Demons went 4-2 in those 6 games and earned the No. 36 seed out of 104 teams heading into the single elimination playoff bracket.

After earning byes through the first two rounds, the Demons won two playoffs games and eventually lost 4-3 to the No. 4-seeded Foster City Stars from California who were 6-0 in the preliminary games.

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After losing its first game to the California Diamond Devils, New Canaan rebounded to defeat the Granite State Sluggers from New Hampshire, 20-8. Dillon Abate had a single, a double, two walks and three stolen bases. Robby Jones had a single, three walks and two steals. Matt Burger had a home run, three singles and two steals. Matty Evans had a single and two walks. Trevor De Ghenghi had a hit and a hit by pitch. Trevor Donnelly had two singles and a walk. Jimmy Stanley added a single and a walk. Mikey Pelli, Abate and Donnelly pitched effectively.

The Demons then beat the Tinton Falls Terminator Squad from New Jersey, 11-5. Pelli was 4-for-4 with a home run. Jones had a homer and a single. Burger had a homer, a single and a hit by pitch. Evans hit a homer. Abate and Stanley had two singles. Justin Greco added a single as did Donnelly. Burger (four innings), Jones (one inning) and Kyle deMayo (one inning) pitched for New Canaan.

Next up was the West Boylston Lions from Massachusetts. New Canaan won that game 11-4. Burger was 3-for-4 with three singles. Pelli hit a homer. Jones had a double, a single and a walk. Evans and Donnelly each had a double and a single. Abate had a single and a walk. Justin Stemerman and deMayo chipped in with singles. Pelli (three), Abate (one) and Jones (two) pitched for New Canaan.

New Canaan continued to roll with a 12-8 win over the Roxborough Rebels from Pennsylvania. New Canaan jumped out to an 8-1 lead and never looked back. Burger had two homers and a double. Pelli had two singles. Jones had a single and two walks. Abate had a single and a walk. De Ghenghi, Donnelly and Evans added singles to the attack. Jackson Yancy (four) and Abate (two) pitched for New Canaan.

New Canaan's winning streak was snapped with a 10-3 loss to the Pro Swing Pride from Mt. Kisco, NY. Jones was 3-for-3 with a homer. Donnelly had a single and a walk. Abate, Pelli and deMayo had singles. Burger (two), Pelli (one), deMayo (one) and Evans (two) pitched for New Canaan.

In the first playoff game, New Canaan played the Olean Oilers from New York. The Oilers jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in top of the first, but New Canaan answered with seven in the bottom of the first. Abate singled, Pelli walked and Jones hit a three-run homer. Evans, Stemerman, and Donnelly walked to load the bases. Stanley got a hit to drive in two. A balk and a groundout scored two more. Olean answered with three more in the second. Jones hit another homer in the bottom of the second and Donnelly had an RBI single to make it 9-6. Olean scored five in the third to take an 11-9 lead. In the fourth, Jones walked, Burger singled, Evans singled and Stemerman singled to tie the game at 11-11. Olean took a 12-11 lead in the top of the fifth. A two-out single by Burger plated deMayo and tied the game at 12-12. In the bottom of the sixth, Evans singled and Donnelly singled with one out sending Evans to third. De Ghenghi pinch ran for Evans. Jimmy Stanley executed a perfect squeeze bunt which scored De Ghenghi with the winning run as New Canaan captured the 13-12 victory.

In the second playoff game, the Demons beat the Ridgewood Raiders from New Jersey, 8-5. Burger was 3-for-3 with a homer and a walk. Donnelly had a homer, a double and a walk. Jones had a double, a single and a walk. Evans had a double. Yancy pitched four and a third dominant innings. He was relieved by Abate and Jones to preserve the victory.

The Demons then played their third game of the day against a rested Foster City Stars team from California. No. 4-seeded Foster City had earned byes up until that point based on their undefeated 6-0 record. Pelli started for New Canaan and pitched a scoreless first inning. New Canaan scored a run in the top of the second as Donnelly walked and worked his way over to third. After a Justin Greco walk, he stole second and the catcher's throw went into centerfield allowing Donnelly to score. Foster City tied the game at 1-1 in the 2nd. Pelli was masterful on the mound with a gutty performance as he struck out the side in the third. The score remained tied entering the bottom of the fourth when Foster City hit a three-run homer to take a 4-1 lead. Burger came on to pitch with the bases loaded and one out and struck out the next two hitters to keep the game close. In the top of the fifth, Abate led off with a single to left center. Pelli hit a slow roller to third and was thrown out by inches on a bang-bang play at first. That call proved to be costly for New Canaan as Jones rocketed a line shot two-run homer which hit the top of the fence in left center and bounced over to bring New Canaan to within 4-3. Foster City held on for the 4-3 victory which ended the Demons season. The Demons finished the Cooperstown tournament with a 6-3 record and were two runs away from a birth in the sweet 16 of the 104-team tournament.